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Steve Doocy Promotes More Islamophobia?

Reported by Priscilla - September 24, 2010 -

Fox “News” has a history “ugly Muslim bashing.” This morning, good Christian Steve Doocy, of Fox & Friends, provided more ammunition for the Fox “News” anti-Islam narrative. He linked Ahmadinejad’s comment about the US being complicit in 9-11 to the building of Park 51. He agreed with his guest, a radical, Christian member of the Texas Board of Education, that Christianity is being “slammed” by publishers who show favoritism towards Islam. And that makes it a trifecta because yesterday he did a segment which reinforced the right wing meme that Muslims are oversensitive. (Unlike the Christian whiners who get lots of free air time on Fox & Friends?) A University of Illinois “Academic Professional,” David Green, had a letter published in the university newspaper in which he complained that the students' chants of “USA, USA,” during a 9-11 football game military flyover, were jingoistic. He suggested that students “might at least consider how most Muslim students, American or otherwise, would respond to this nativist display; or better, Muslims and others that live their lives under the threat of our planes, drones and soldiers.” Not surprisingly this is making the rounds of the anti-Islamic, far right, Islamphobic blogs. Not suprisingly, Steve Doocy interviewed a student, an ex Marine, who objected to the letter. Once again, Fox opinion “News” does a story guaranteed to stir up anti-Islamic sentiment in its audience. But thanks to the articulate and reasoned commentary by this tolerant ex-Marine, Doocy didn’t appear to get his desired result. Interesting…

While lately there have been actual Islamophobic acts of vandalism and harassment to the American Muslim community, Fox "opinion" seems to ignore those stories in favor of stories that paint Muslims in a bad light (Park 51?!) and thus reinforce the bigotry of those who hold Islamophobic opinions. Today’s treatment of something that should be of no interest to anybody outside the community of the University of Illinois is a classic example. Fox & Friends, as they did with the Helena Montana “sex ed” curriculum, has made this into a national issue. One hopes that the author of the letter is not getting death threats as we speak. His contact information has already been made available on one right wing blog which contains vile commentary including statements that as a Jew, he should be grateful to the US for defeating the Nazis. Nice. So here we have good Christian Steve Doocy providing even more coverage which actually could endanger this man. The title of the video is “Cavuto Marked:” “Chant Considered Offensive To Muslims?” Doocy stood in front of images of flags waving as he described a cheer “that unifies the United States.” The agitprop chyron: “Slamming a 9-11 Observance, Academic Criticizes ‘USA’ Chant.” He played a clip of the movie, “Miracle,” about the 1980 American hockey team after which he said “USA, USA, is coming under fire at the Unversity of Illinois.” He showed a segment of David Green’s letter. He introduced ex Marine Chad Garland and University of Illinois student and asked how he felt about Green’s “scolding” of the students. Garland said the letter contained “baseless claims and cliches about overprivileged white kids.” Garland spoke of the mission of the Unversity of Illinois and how the flyover was fitting for the military history of the school. He hadn’t said one world about Muslims – yet the chyron became “Chanting ‘USA’ Offensive To Muslims?”

Needing to interject the requiste and not very subtle Islamophobic message, Doocy said “at this recent football game, he writes that when they say ‘USA, USA’ (his voice getting louder) “that would be offensive to Muslims.” Doocy couldn’t contain his snarl as he said that. He asked, with emphasis, “what do you think about that” (he grinned) “idea?” (He growled “idea.”) Garland said that he felt that Green was unfairly painting Muslims as anti-American. As he spoke video footage of praying Muslims was shown. The cyhron: “Academic Anti American, Says Chanting ‘USA’ is obnoxious.” He added that Muslims here and around the world appreciate America and for Green to paint them as un-American is a disservice to them. As he spoke, Doocy looked confused. (Nothing unusual there) To Doocy’s question of what Garland would say to Green, Garland recommended that he stay away from football games and watch soccer. The final chyron was “USA Chant Rant, Academic Questions Students’ Patriotism.”

Comment: While the ostensible theme was “how dare this elite academic question American patriotism," you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to discern the real focus. What was intended as a slam against Muslims didn’t quite work out that way. Doocy’s mission was to contrast the patriotism of the students with umbrage from unpatriotic Muslims – umbrage that was only suggested by the author of the letter. Despite the video’s question of the chant being offensive to Muslims, the only feedback that Doocy got from Garland, about Islam, was positive. It’s clear that “America’s Newsroom” doesn’t include Muslims who are now being painted as not just oversensitive – but possibly unpatriotic. It’s ironic, don’t ya think, that the gang on Fox & Friends consider themselves patriotic Americans – yet they seem to be focused on dividing Americans in order to create a very non inclusive society – and that’s not very patriotic. Ya think?